From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

McCann, Les

(born: 1935) 

Born in Lexington, KY, Les McCann is a self-taught musician. He left Kentucky to join the Navy in the 1950s. In 1956, while still in the Navy, he won a talent contest for his singing, leading to his appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. McCann later formed a trio in Los Angeles. In 1960 he signed a contract with Pacific Jazz and recorded Les McCann Plays the Truth and The Shout. He was known for his piano playing style, and on the successful album, Swiss Movement, McCann emphasized his singing. He suffered a stroke in the 1990s, but returned to singing and playing. In 2002 he was included in the recording of Pump It Up. For more see Les McCann Biography, and Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American African Musicians, by E. Southern.



Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Les McCann Itd. plays the truth (album)
NKAA Source: The Shout (song and album)
NKAA Source: Swiss movement (album)
NKAA Source: Pump it up (album)
NKAA Source: Biographical dictionary of Afro-American and African musicians

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry:  Higgins, Norman

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“McCann, Les,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed January 19, 2022,

Last modified: 2017-07-19 17:51:26